IFoS and CSE have the same prelim examination. This explains the high focus on environment related topics in prelim examination.
Thus if you prepare environment part thoroughly you’ll have an edge. Moreover if you have decided to give IFoS seriously – and have taken Forestry as one of the optional – then you should go through the entire syllabus of it once before prelims. There is a chance that there’ll be 2-3 questions which a Forestry student can answer easily compared to a general candidate.
Also dont leave ancient and medieval history section. TN board class 11th book is a savior in this regard.
For current affairs – refer to at least two sources – Vision and Insight make for a good combo but you can rely on others too.
Next practice as many mock test as you can. They’ll help in incremental improvement. Join a test series and give test at test center if you can. Nothing matches the actual experience of giving the test.
IFoS prelims cutoff is usually 15-20 marks above the CSE cutoff. It was 132-133 for IFoS – 2016 while 116 for CSE 2016. Your aim should be to optimize your marks by increasing the accuracy. Attempting more could backfire in this uncertain era of UPSC.
Syllabus – Candidates will be required to write an essay in English. Other questions will be designed to test their understanding of English and workmanlike use of words. Passages will usually be set for summary or precis.
How to prepare? –
- Solve previous year question papers
- Get an idea of format for letter, notice, reports etc
During the exam
- Write the essay first. Highest component in the marking scheme
- Don’t use colloquial language – this is not a qualifying exam – marks will be counted towards your final score and that’ll determine your rank.
What does the syllabus say – General Knowledge including knowledge of current events and of such matters of every day observation and experience in their scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific subject. The paper will also include questions on Indian Polity including the political system and the Constitution of India, History of India and Geography of a nature which the candidate should be able to answer without special study
- 3 hour exam
- 6 questions with 5-7 sub parts
How to prepare?
- Focus on S&T
- This year there were questions ranging from heliocentric orbit to genome editing to utility of friction
- Focus on Ancient and Medieval history – at least you should have a rough chronology in mind
- IFoS GK paper at times had questions related to Ashoka in past years
- CSE mains prep for GS will suffice for the rest
During the exam
- Leave the questions which you don’t know anything about -There will be definitely 2-3 questions like those
- Draw diagrams wherever possible especially in S&T question
Edit – 4/11/2017
- For S&T
- Read 9th and 10th NCERT for Phyiscs, Chemistry and Biology
- Cover last 3 year current afairs for S&T – Either via Vision/Insight booklets or Wizard compilations
- Write some sample papers and get them checked from a teacher or someone you think know the grammar 🙂
I got below average marks in English which was bit surprising.
Date – 02/03/2017, Afternoon session
Board – P K Joshi Sir
M1 – Chairman
- Tell me about your work expereince. How was it?
- Tell me about solar policy of India
- How much land does it take to setup 1MW solar plant?
- Where is the largest solar plant in India?
M2 – Lady member
- Why people/students don’t take risk? Is it changing? Why? How?
- Compare startup ecosystem from 2012 to 2017
- What new policies government has announced?
- Have you cleared CSE?
- You do photography? What Kind? Why not wildlife? What equipment you would need to do wildlife photography?
- Tell me about vegetations of …… tiger reserve.
- Tell me about corridors of ….. tiger reserve.
- What tribes exist in….. tiger reserve
- Why do we need corridors?
- What dishes do you like to cook?
- What species do we get from forest?
- What medicinal plants do we get from forest?
- How can finance industry help in forest conservation
- How can finance industry help SHG of tribals?
- How should CAMPA fund be used?
- What is cultural ecology?
- What do you like in Astronomy?
- What is difference between Astronomy and Astrology?
- Do you believe in Astrology?
- Where do we find Very dense forest in Rajasthan? What is total area of very dense forest?
- Tell me about vegetation and fauna of dessert national park
- How do we know that a certain place had forest before?
- Where do we find coal?
- What is species?
Interview lasted about 20-25 mins. I was third one to go. Board was extremely cordial. I couldn’t answer few questions related to forestry.
I got 201/300.