Indian Forest Service | IFS Selection Process | IFS Preparation and Coaching

Indian Forest Service (IFS), offers a highly challenging and rewarding career. It offers an exciting opening where an IFS officer not only acts as custodian of forests under his area of responsibility but also derives mundane pleasure of being instrumental in protecting and preserving the environment and wild life. This exotic satisfaction of protecting forests, environment and wild life also adds a lot of adventure to the job.

Recruitment to this service is done by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) through a competitive examination every year. The candidates selected for the service are allotted a State/Union Territory cadre and they serve in that particular State/Union Territory thereafter till superannuation, except for a few deputations to the Central Government in between. The service has inherent time-bound promotions and higher scales which are comparable to the best in government sector in the country. After completion of training, the IFS officers are usually posted as Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs)/Deputy Conservators of Forests (DCF) with the independent charge of a forest division with a large number of Forest Guards, Block Officers, Range Officers and Assistant Conservators of Forests working under them. After putting in a specified years of service as a DFO/DCF, the IFS Officers are promoted as Conservators of Forests with several DFOs/DCFs under their control. A direct recruit IFS Officer can hope to rise upto Chief Conservator of Forests or even upto the post of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, the Head of Forest Department in a State.

Some of the State Governments have State Forest Development Corporations also and the IFS Officers can also be posted as Divisional Managers, General Managers, Executive Directors and Managing Directors in these Corporations. Thus IFS officers also get an exposure to the corporate functioning in the government sector, adding another dimension to their job. In addition, the IFS officers also enjoy certain powers of police officers in respect of several offences under the Indian Forest Act.

The Selection Process

The competitive examination for the IFS is usually held by the UPSC in the month of July every year. The advertisement for the examination normally appears in the month of December/Janaury in all leading newspapers as well as in the “Employment News”. It carries details about the examination, subjects, etc.

The candidates applying for the IFS examination must fulfil the following conditions:
(a) They must have attained the age of 21 years but should be less than 30 years of age.
(b) They must be graduates with atleast one of the following subjects: Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Mathematics, Statistics and Geology; from a recognized university, or must have Bachelors Degree in Agriculture or Engineering or Forestry from a recognized university.

: The scheme of examination has two stages:
(a) Written examination.
(b) Personal Interview.

All the eligible candidates are first tested through a written examination which consists of two compulsory and two optional subjects. The compulsory subjects are General Knowledge and General English. Every candidate has to offer two optional subjects out of (1) Physics (2) Chemistry (3) Botany (4) Zoology (5) Forestry (6) Statistics (7) Mathematics (8) Geology (9) Agriculture (10) Civil Engineering (11) Agriculture Engineering (12) Mechanical Engineering (13) Chemical Engineering.

The compulsory papers are designed to test the candidates command over the language, comprehension, analytical power and overall general awareness. The General English paper carries the questions on use of words of common parlance, passages, precis, comprehension, idioms etc. In addition the candidates are also required to write an essay out of a few given topics. The standard of this paper is such as is expected of an average science/engineering/forestry/agriculture graduate of an Indian University.

The second compulsory paper on General Knowledge is aimed at testing the general awareness and knowledge of the candidates in subjects other than those studied by them in their academic curriculum. This paper also tests the knowledge of candidates on current events of national and international importance. There are a few questions on Indian Political System, Indian History, Economy, Geography and applied aspects of Science and Technology. The standard of this paper is again such as is expected of an average science/engineering/forestry/agriculture graduate. The questions in this paper are multiple choice objective-type in nature.

So far as the choice of optional subjects is concerned, list of subjects offers a vast choice. Every eligible candidate is usually expected to specialise in atleast one of the optional subjects which he/she would have offered during his/her academic degree. The choice of second subject is also not difficult. It is recommended that the candidates appearing for the first time in the examination should go through previous question papers before finally deciding on the optional subjects. The standard of optional subjects is that of degree level academic examination. Further details regarding syllabi of all optional subjects are available in the instructions received alongwith the application form supplied by the UPSC.

Interview: The written examination is followed by a personality test in the form of personal interview. The interviews are held by the UPSC soon after the result of written test is declared. The marks obtained in the interview are added to the marks obtained by a candidate in the written test to draw up the final merit list. The main aim of personality test is to judge the suitability of candidates as officers of Indian Forest Service. The candidates appearing in the interview may expect some questions on common day-to-day observations and current affairs of importance. Questions on Indian Polity, Planning Process, Budgeting and Economic Geography may also be expected. The personality test also aims at testing leadership qualities, mental alertness, initiative, balance of judgement, analytical capabilities and variety of interests.

Preparation and Coaching

The IFS being among the most prestigious services of the country, the competition for examination is quite tough and needs meticulous preparation. So far as optional subjects are concerned, most of the students are expected to do well. It is the performance of candidates in compulsory subjects which makes the real difference. Any candidate who does well in optional subjects and also excels in the compulsories can expect to qualify the examination. It, therefore, requires systematic planned study with added emphasis on both the compulsory subjects which are usually neglected during the academic examinations.

To have a sound base in the General Knowledge paper the candidates must refer to a basic and standard general knowledge book like “General Knowledge Refresher” by O.P. Khanna, regularly supported by “The Competition Master”. This would keep the candidates posted upto date as far as general knowledge and current affairs are concerned and would give them an edge over others in this paper.

Similarly, the personal interview also requires an exhaustive preparation. Passing of written examination must not lead a candidate to a state of complacency. Personality test being the final test of suitability of the candidates for the service, thus assumed greater importance. Indepth study of all important aspects of general interest as well as brushing-up of optional subjects offered in the written examination is required. Thorough self-appraisal is also an effective way of preparing for the interview.

There are certain private institutions/agencies imparting coaching and guidance for IFS examination as well as personal interview. By taking due precautions for not falling into unscrupulous hands, coaching from a reputed institution will go a long way to help the fresh candidates to do well in this examination.

If you have questions, please ask below


  1. kota. Sirisha says:

    The info provided is absolutely appreciable. But i hope you would provide the names or list of the institutes that are concerned with the coaching to IFS. Please mention some famous institutes which coach us for the examination. Thank you.

    • Kumar says:

      Indian Forest Service Examination 2011
      Fresh batch for IFS 2011 examination will commence from 21st January, 2011.
      Optionals offered:
      1. Botany
      2. Zoology
      3. Chemistry
      4. Mathematics &
      Compulsory papers: General English & General Knowledge.
      Coaching Details:
      Duration – 41/2 months
      Daily 5 hours classes
      Weekly Tests
      Fee: 55,000/- (Total Package)
      Lakshya Institute
      Opp. Lane to RTC Complex,
      Sri Nagar,
      Ph: 9247024377, 9298504388

  2. sureshraj says:

    sir i need some instuties for indian forest service and i am very much confiused to selection of second subject and releted books for maths

  3. Himanshu goel says:

    sam question .could you please tell me about some good and reputed institutes for the preparation for IFS?

  4. Ramesh says:

    Can anyone suggest a good institute for Indian Forest Service coaching in Kerala. please help

  5. Abhishek says:

    can u please suggest some good coaching institute in M. P. or Delhi for IFS. Do reply. Thanks.

  6. vbhalakumar says:

    Send me a copy of IFSPromotionRules1966 for promotion from
    state forest service.

  7. ashish mishra says:

    Sir I am not able to know the books for preparation of geology for IFS…so pleaes suggest me books for preparatoin of IFS

  8. Pranava says:

    I need to prepare for IFS 2010. Kindly let me know where will i get coaching guides for general english, general knowledge and optional subjects botany anf forestry??

  9. bhushan says:

    sir where shall i get ifs materials and available address? would you pls inform me hw will i get it?
    i have to get these books i.e.forestry&zoology+english.

  10. pradeep says:

    hello sir,

    which is the scoring and popular optionals in the IFS exam ,

  11. pavanireddy says:

    hello sir can u plz suggest any reputed institutes that offer coaching for ifs in andhrapradesh? do reply thanks

  12. Ajit kumar says:

    Sir, pls give either the name of some institution which coaches us for IFS(indian forest services) or the mode of preparation as i have selected maths and physics as the optional subject

  13. Pramod D.M. says:

    I need proper guidance for preperation of Indian Forest ervice.
    Please give Add. of any coaching Institute

  14. kshama says:

    can u details of IFS coaching institute in chattisgarh.

  15. Abhishek says:

    Cn ne1 tell me wat r the individual cut off in all the subjects nd total score required to expect call for p.i. And also suggest some books on agriculture if ne agricultural graduate reads it plz reply.


    i want to know about the coaching institutes for GEOLOGY as a optional subject in Civil Services Examination, located in New-Delhi.

  17. kamaksha says:

    i want list of coaching classes for ifs the famous ones in delhi n pune

  18. mini says:

    can u suggest me some books for forestry optional in indian forest examination??

  19. Richa Gupta says:

    hello! i am an habbitant of kolkata and a student. i kinda
    u know i wanna become an ifs but cn u plz suggest wat subject shall i go forrad wi’ i kinda am a gud student i get marks above 85% in all subjects so can u plz teme wat subject shall i take up futher after my boards and also suggets sum books.

  20. Richa Gupta says:

    n plz can u suggest sum of the most reputed universities of india not exactly but of kolkata

  21. awrit says:

    sir kindly suggest me the name of the institutes which provide sound coaching in geology and forestry for the IFS in delhi….as soon as possible…!!

    • sharad says:

      dear freind,
      there is no coaching centre for ifs except evolution at mukharjee nagar but it provides coaching on 3 subjects which are botany , agriculture, zoology.i have taken the same subject , i know books on geology
      i can give u Suggested Reading: Geology

      • Geology: An Introduction – Kronaris and Krambine
      • Text Book of Geology – P.K. Mukherjee
      • Text Book of Physical Geology – Mahapatra
      • Geomorphology – Woolridge or Tharnbury
      • Principles of Petrology – G.W. Turrel
      • Petrography – Williams
      • Mineral and Crystal Science – V.C. Jesh
      • Sedimentary Rocks – Petti John
      • Underground Hydrology – David Keith Toad
      • Igneous Rocks and Metromorphic Petrology – Turner
      • Ocean – Squaredrop, Johnson and Bliming
      • Simple Geological Structure – Plate and Charlincr
      • Soil Minerology – I. E. Grim
      • A Dictionary of Geology – Morrison
      hey dear if u get books on forestry dear send me on my emial
      if u send books on forestry mail me
      the time is running out
      hurry up
      send me books on forestry

      • vamshi says:

        hi,bro even i am interested in ifs,i am doing 5year integrated course of in aviation can i am eligible for writing ifs.
        plz reply.

      • Atul Bhole says:

        hello sir,
        I am preparing for IFS.
        Would you suggest me, how to study for IFS?
        I am offering Agriculture and Forestry.
        If possible, Please suggest me coaching for those subject in Delhi.
        I would be greatful if you send me more detail.
        Try to reply.
        Thank you

  22. sandeep says:

    plz name any institution in karnataka for ifs preparaton?

  23. neeraj says:

    sir give me sylabus for general science paper…

  24. jitender says:

    i hav no geology backgrond.. Is geology a better option for both ifs&ias exam..plz help me

  25. PARUL says:

    pls give me name of books related to IFS in english and zoology subject

  26. pooja says:

    hello sir,
    i’ll be completing my with information technology branch..
    am i eligible for ifs ??…
    m good in maths and chemistry…shall i take up these subjects?

  27. reshmi says:

    suggested reading for agriculture paper 1,,,,,,can u plz suggest me some names of the book………

  28. AHIR says: veterinary graduate applicable for ifs?

  29. Akanksha Sharma says:

    hello sir,
    i m persuing my with information technology am i eligible for ifs?
    plz name any institution in dehradun (uk) or in up, india

  30. akanksha sharma says:

    hello sir,
    i m persuing my with information technology am i eligible for ifs?
    plz name any institute in dehradun(uk) or in up for ifs preperation

    • Manish says:

      Hey Akanksha

      I too am preparing for IFS 2011 with Geology and Forestry as optionals.
      Would like to get in contact so that together we can prove mutually beneficial for each other. I am from Rishikesh and Currently in New Delhi.
      Please reply if you share the same…my e- mail Id is

  31. Satyendra says:

    I hv done my graduation in bsc(h) biotech frm bundelkhand univ am i eligible for ifs entrance??? & plz suggest books for zoology, botany & animal husbandry

  32. Jayant says:

    Plz suggest any institute orgnzn providing correspondence course 4 ifs

  33. harsha says:

    Any one plz tell me coaching classes for Indian forest service in bangalore …

  34. Amit says:

    hi.. i did my +2 in medical science and after that i switched to do bacholar degree in arts and at presently i’m pursuing my master’s in management and i want to be an I.F.S officer can anyone gimmy d suggestion what i’ve to do now, plz reply me as soon as possible. Thx….

  35. Ramesh says:

    hello sir
    i am an aspirant for ifs 2011. i wish to know about the best coaching institutes for the same in delhi specially in mukharjee nagar. my subjects are botany and forestry. also let me know when the classes will be starting at the latest.
    thank you

  36. Ramya says:

    Dear Sir,

    I am an aspirant for IFS 2011. I would like to know if any books for GK/ GE are available in market. Also guide me how to get previous years question papers/ atleast model papers? any question bank/ materials for IFS is available in book stalls. If so give me the details of books which are useful.

  37. dr vipin kumar soni says:

    Respected sir, I am an ayurvedic doctor{2009 pass out}although we are having one subject related to plants and drugs…so i am able to attend the IFS exam?
    will any OBC candidate get any age relaxation in IFS ?

  38. akbar says:

    i want to know tips books coachings for ifos exam my contact no 09839035722

  39. vimal raj k says:

    any coaching centers in kerala plzzzzzzzzz reply………….

  40. vimal raj k says:

    for ifs……….

  41. gorav sharma says:

    hi i am prepairing for ifs my opt is botany nd zology pls tell me coaching center and test series in delhi

  42. Ammu says:

    Plz say the name of good coaching institutes in kerala for IFS

  43. Himanshu Shekhar Dutta,Bhubaneswar says:

    tell me some famous coaching institute giving correspending material for ifs

  44. NILESH says:

    hey friend, anybody know abot coaching classes for ifs in
    specially agricultire and botany subject if you know plz call me or misscall me .its very urgent
    my no. 9595476996…

  45. ravi shanker pandey says:

    sir plz tell me i do b.pharm &this is my last year
    this is also give bachler degree
    con i fill i.f.s. application

  46. ravi shanker pandey says:

    sir & also tell me plz for which sub. b/c in b.pharm is totaly related to drugs & it`s pharmacokinetik
    how much subject are nessery for writen (main)& pre
    g.k. is must in this exam
    kindly tell me fully information about the ifs pre&main exam

  47. cnu says:

    sir iam preparing for ifs with zoology and forestry .plz tel me about foresy coaching centers in delhi my num 9492856401.iam from hyderabad

  48. cnu says:

    is there any one ifs aspirant with foresry optional in hyderabad.i need company for preparing ifs .9492856401

  49. dr sweta says:

    sir, i need to write i f s exam. but i am a degree holder in bachelor in dental science .. am i eligible 2 write this exam .. pl do reply

  50. sneha says:

    im from botany and i want to take combination forestry with botany can it would be batter batter combination for ifs and subject material can be easily found of forestry.

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