How to prepare for the Forestry Optional of UPSC IFS Exam?

How to prepare for the Forestry Optional of UPSC IFS Exam?


Union Public Service Commission conducts Indian Forest Service Exam every year for all the eligible candidates. The recruitment process consists of three stages i. e  Prelims, Mains, and Interview round. Candidates will have to follow some conditions while selecting an optional subject for the IFOS Exam. Forestry is one of the popular optional subjects chosen by the candidates. It is recommended to choose the optional subject carefully as it will play a prominent role in the interview round especially in the case of forestry optional because this subject is related to the job profile of an IFS officer. On that note, we have discussed below the best strategies to prepare for Forestry optional for the UPSC IFS Mains exam for all the interested and eligible aspirants.

How to prepare for the Forestry Optional of UPSC IFS Exam?
How to prepare for the Forestry Optional of UPSC IFS Exam?

Check the Forestry Optional Syllabus

Candidates should go through the Forestry Optional Syllabus carefully to understand the topics and their subparts important from the exam point of view. The major highlights of the syllabus are mentioned below;

Paper I


  • General Silvicultural Principles

  • Silviculture Systems

  • Silviculture: Mangrove and Cold Deserts

  • Silviculture of Trees


  • Agroforestry

  • Forest Soils

  • Environmental Conservation and Biodiversity

  • Tree Improvement and Seed Technology



Section A

  • Forest Management

  • Forest Working Plan

  • Forest Mensuration and Remote Sensing

  • Surveying and Forest Engineering

Section B

  • Forest Ecology and Ethnobotany

  • Forest Resources and Utilization

  • Forest Protection and Wildlife Biology

  • Forest Economics and Legislation

Focus on all the topics

Candidates should include all the topics in the study plan because all the chapters are important for the exam. Thus, they should devote maximum time to the preparation and learn the fundamentals of each topic so that they can write substantial answers and achieve the best result in the exam. Candidates should start the preparation with the common topics asked in the prelims exam as well. Environmental Topics, Conservation and Biodiversity, Development and Environment, watershed management, soil, and its conservation, etc are some of the portions that overlap with prelims GS papers and thus you can prepare for both prelims and mains exam before the expected prelims dates. 

Refer to the most recommended books

Candidates should refer to the best books which cover the entire syllabus thoroughly such that secondary study material is not used in the UPSC IFOS preparation. They should refer to one or two books for each topic during the preparation to avoid conceptual confusion as it may affect their performance in the exam. Listed below are some of the books that the candidates should refer to:

  • Indian Forestry by K. Manikandan and S.Prabhu

  • Agroforestry: Indian Perspective by L.K. Jha

  • Forest Management by Prakash Ram

Go through the Previous Year Question Paper

One of the most important preparation tips for the candidates is that they should go through the last ten year’s papers on the forestry subject and identify types of questions asked previously in the recruitment exams. By solving the previous year question papers, candidates will get an idea about the syllabus and the strategy to prepare the subjects by keeping the past year’s questions in mind.

Maintain Short Notes

Candidates should note down and highlight the important points of each topic while studying them. Make sure to link the short notes with the syllabus. By doing this, they will not have to go through the syllabus as it can be very time-consuming. After making notes, briefly examine the notes and do regular revision.

Revision is important

Candidates are advised to cover the entire syllabus in the first 4-5 months and devote the rest of the months to practice and revision. Since the IFOS syllabus is vast, it is not possible to remember everything at once. Thus candidates should do a constant revision to retain all the important points of each topic for a longer period of time.


Check Also: UPSC Civil Services Selection Procedure Details




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