Here is how Jojin fought all odds to finally clear the IFS exam – Onmanorama


Jojin Abraham George had unsuccessfully attempted the Civil Services Examination four times before grabbing the All-India 7th rank for the Indian Forest Services (IFS) examination.
Interestingly, he also came first among the Keralites who had cleared the national-level competitive exam. For Jojin, this victory is special as six years of hard work and dedication has finally paid off.
It was in 2013 that Jojin, the son of Kollam Anchal natives Georgekutty Lukose and Laji, passed BTech from Amal Jyothi College of Engineering, Kanjirappally. He then worked in the IT sector for around three years. In 2016, he began training for the Civil Services Examination. It was Jojin’s cousin Reno Kurian who inspired him to make a bid for the civil services.
Initially, Jojin wanted to clear only the Civil Services Examination. Later, his attention turned to IFS after he learned more about it. Interestingly, Jojin had written the IFS exam in the last five years. However, he didn’t even pass the prelims four times. In 2019 and 2020, he was selected to the interview round of the Civil Services Examination. But, this year, Jojin concentrated only on the IFS exam.
When he faced failures constantly, Jojin wondered why he wasn’t able to succeed in the high-profile exam. Meanwhile, Jojin, Reno and a group of friends started a training centre called ‘Civils 360’ at Thriuvananthapuram. This time, Jojin spent up to 6 to 8 hours a day for studying. During the exam, he studied up to 10 hours.
The preliminary exam in 2021 was held just ten days after the final rank list of 2020 was published. So, he didn’t get too much time for preparation. Jojin says that the training sessions that he had handled in the institute had helped him too.
He confesses that he didn’t expect to clear the prelims. Finally, when he was selected to the interview round after passing the prelims and the mains, he was motivated by his friends Unni and Suneesh who had earlier attended the interview.
Jojin says that his sister Jubi George who is an IELTS trainer had helped him improve his English language skills. Jojin was short of just 2 marks from clearing the interview round of the Civil Services Examination twice. Jojin kept practising by attending mock interviews and training sessions. This time, Jojin, with 216 marks, stands third in the national level for his performance in the interview round.
What is IFS?
Indian Forest Service is often described as a dream job that lets you enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of nature and forests. It is a national-level competitive exam that is similar to the Civil Service Examination. However, the cut-off marks for IFS is greater than the latter. The difficulty level of the exam too is higher. If more than 10,000 candidates are selected for the mains of Civil Service, then around 1,000 candidates are shortlisted for the mains of IFS. This year, only 108 candidates have been selected into the service. Among this only 30 are from the General category.
Until 2013, there wasn’t a preliminary round for the IFS exam. Earlier, those who cleared the mains exam were selected for the interview round. However, this pattern was changed in 2013. Now, aspirants who wish to enter the IFS should attend the preliminary exam of Civil Services Examination. In IFS, one has to score up to 10–20 marks more than civil service cut-off to clear the prelims.
Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, Botany, Chemistry, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Forestry, Geology, Maths, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Statistics and Zoology are some of the optional subjects for the IFS mains exam. Most of these are Science-related subjects.  
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