UPSC IFS Exam pattern 2020 - UPSC mentions the exam pattern of IFS 2020 in its official notification on UPSC IFS 2020 Exam pattern states sections of the exam, question papers, marking scheme, the total number of questions, time duration, number of sections and negative marking. Candidates planning to appear in the UPSC IFS 2020 exam, must check the exam pattern before applying. As per UPSC IFS exam pattern 2020, the exam is held in three stages – prelims, mains and interview. Union Public Service Commission conducts IFS exam along with IAS Exam on May 31, 2020. Indian Forest Service preliminary exam comprises two papers – Paper 1 and 2 while the Mains will comprise six papers. IFS aspirants qualifying the preliminary stage will be called for the mains, while those qualifying the mains will be called for the interview round. Candidates can check the detailed exam pattern of UPSC IFS 2020 in this article.

IFS Exam Pattern 2020

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2020 - Prelims

According to the UPSC IFS 2020 exam pattern, the preliminary exam consists of two papers of 200 marks each. The questions asked in both these papers MCQ-based. As per the exam pattern of UPSC IFS 2020, there will be 1 mark allotted for each question, while one-third (0.33) marks will be deducted as negative marking per question. The preliminary UPSC IFS 2020 exam pattern 2020 is mentioned in the following table:

UPSC IFS 2020 Exam Pattern for Preliminary exam:


No. of Questions per paper

Total Marks Allotted

Time Duration

General Studies Paper 1



2 hours (120 Minutes)

General Studies Paper 2



2 hours(120 Minutes)




4 hours (240 Minutes)

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2020 - Main Exam

The second stage of the UPSC IFS recruitment process is the Main exam, candidates qualifying the preliminary exam will be shortlisted for the main exam. As per the UPSC IFS 2020 exam pattern, candidates will have to score a minimum qualifying marks (cut off marks) in the IFS preliminary exam 2020 to appear for the Main exam. UPSC IFS 2020 Main exam will consist of a total of six papers. Each paper will be conducted for 3 hours and the questions will be descriptive type. Candidates qualifying the Main exam will be invited for the Interview round, which is the third stage of the selection process. The Interview/Personality test will be conducted for 300 marks. UPSC IFS Exam pattern 2020 for the Main exam is shared in the following table:

Exam Pattern of UPSC IFS 2020 for Mains exam:

Name of the papers

Total marks allotted

Time Duration

Paper 1 (General English)


3 hours

Paper 2 (General Knowledge)


3 hours

Paper 3


3 hours

Paper 4


3 hours

Paper 5


3 hours

Paper 6


3 hours



18 hours

Papers 3, 4, 5 and 6, apart from the above 2 subjects which are mandatory, candidates will have to choose any two of the following subjects as optional subjects.

Optional Subject


Agriculture Engineering

Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science



Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering




Mechanical Engineering




Candidates will not be allowed to choose the following combination of subjects:

  • (a) Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering

  • (b) Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science.

  • (c) Agriculture and Forestry.

  • (d) Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

  • (e) Mathematics and Statistics.

Out of the Engineering subjects viz. Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, they will not be able to choose not more than one subject.

As mentioned in the UPSC IFS exam pattern 2020, all questions will be in English and will have to be answered in English only. If a candidate's handwriting will not be easily clear enough to read then there will be a deduction in the marks of the candidate. They will also not be allotted marks for just superficial knowledge. Candidates will also be given credit for orderly, effective and exact expression of words in all subjects of the UPSC IFS exam 2020.

UPSC IFS Interview/Personality Test 2020

During the third stage of the UPSC IFS 2020 exam pattern, the candidates shortlisted in the Main exam will be interviewed by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The objective of the personality test will be to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for the Service. Candidates must be intelligent not just in academics but also in other events related to in and around the surroundings. The personality test will not be strict but will be cross-examination between the interviewer and the interviewee. It will be natural, though directed and a purposive conversation. The motive of the personality test will be to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate along with the following things:

  • Paying special attention to assess the candidate's intellectual curiosity,

  • Observe the critical powers and assimilation,

  • Judge candidate's alertness of mind, initiative, tact, and capacity for leadership;

  • To check candidate's ability for social cohesion, The personality test will also examine a candidate's mental and physical energy and powers of practical application;

  • Candidate's integrity of character; and other qualities including topographical sense, love for outside life

  • and desire to explore unknown and out of way places.

UPSC IFS Syllabus 2020

After knowing the UPSC IFS exam pattern 2020, candidates must check the syllabus of Indian Forest Service 2020 as well. UPSC prescribes the syllabus for Prelims, Mains and Interview. The prelims exam consists of two papers from General Studies of 200 marks each. After qualifying the first stage, candidates will be shortlisted for the Mains exam. UPSC IFS Main exam consists of 6 papers of which Paper A and B are qualifying in nature. UPSC IFS syllabus 2020 contains all the information including a number of papers, sections, topics, units, duration and marking scheme of the exam.

Other Related Links

IFS Result 2020

IFS Admit Card 2020

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - IFS Exam Pattern 2020

Question: Is the IFS exam easy?


No, but it all depends on your preparation. The written exam is easy to crack but the Main exam is very tough.

Question: Is the IFS exam conducted separately?


Yes, the exam is conducted separately. Preliminary, Main and Interview.

Question: What is the difference between the exam pattern of IFS and IAS?


There is no major difference when it comes to the Preliminary examination, both the exams have the same exam pattern but the main exam pattern is different.

Question: Is there negative marking in UPSC IFS?


Yes, one-third (0.33) marks will be deducted as negative marking per question.

Question: How many papers are there in the IFS exam?


IFS preliminary exam consists of 2 GS papers while the main exam consists of 6 papers of 300 marks each.

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