Forestry – optional (IFS)

My journey

Importance of Forestry

Decoding syllabus:

Plan of action:

Before prelims

In case someone has more time and wants to invest in Forestry optional, she can first do the common portion of environment and forestry (highlighted in decoding syllabus). This should not come at the cost of basic sources for prelims. A maximum of total 20 hours for all these topics is suggested as a good investment.  These chapters done from M&P has potential to help in Prelims. E.g. Critical wildlife habitat (2018 prelims Q, M&P page 586), Watershed management (2014 prelims Q, Ch 9 M & P), Contour bunding (2013 prelims Q , M &P Page 230), Gypsum application (2017 famous prelims Q, Gypsum application mentioned in page 233, under chemical measures for soil moisture conservation) etc.

After CSM(civil services mains) and before IFS Mains

  • Cover M & P book from cover to cover (estimated time 2-3 weeks for 1st round). Chapterwise observations/remarks are available in decoded forestry syllabus.
  • There are typical questions repeatedly asked, prepare them well. E.g. NTFPs.
  • Some topics are not there in M & P, but asked in PYQ. e.g. Provenance trial etc .Just google them and get basic about those terms without investing much time in random searches.
  • Practice 2-3 test papers  
  • Some people colour diagrams (I could not do), may be done but not at the cost of paper completion.
  • To be included in answers for getting more marks. FEEL ISD

IFS interview

  • Revision of prelims/mains notes for environment
  • M & P overview (not at the cost of DAF)
  • IFS website
  • Some topics

ALL THE BEST … :), as mentioned in forestry syllabus break up, I will try giving short videos on Silvicultural systems, Management and Mensuration after CSM.
Mail me your queries at


Rishav gupta sir notes

Ram Prakash book

Other useful strategies

Some abbreviations used above

IFS- Indian Forest Service, CSM – Civil services mains, NTFP- Non timber forest produce, PYQ- Previous year questions,

6 thoughts on “Forestry – optional (IFS)

  1. Sir, I’m starting preparation for IFoS 2021. I’m new to this UPSC preparation. My age is 27 and a working professional. I have thought of Forestry and Mathematics as optional as I have mathematics till Btech 2nd year and also in Mtech level for a semester. I have certain level of interest in Mathematics but as I want to crack the exam next year for sure, I’m in little hesitation whether to take Mathematics or not. Most of the sources say that Geology is the preferred optional for IFoS. Can you help me out please.


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