I did the majority of my studies alone. I might have tried some form of group study, but there was no one local to me that was preparing. I'm not sure that a group would have helped me out or not. I spent some time at a CCIE bootcamp, where the class members engaged in technology discussions from time to time. Overall, I didn't gain too much from those conversations. They didn't hurt, but at the same time I could have gotten by without them.
I made my biggest study gains when I locked myself away in the boiler room and hunkered down with no music, no Blackberry, and no e-mail. When I ran into topics I didn't understand, I'd read the text again, read alternate explanations, and/or lab it out until I "got it". Would I have done as well in a group? I'm not sure.
If the people in the group have a good and solid understanding of the technologies then for sure it is a very good idea to study with them but if they have a wrong understanding then God helps you ha ha.
I did a combination when studying for my CCIE Voice exam and I think that the group really helped, but not if it was too large. When there were about three people total in our group it was a great experience because everyone had background knowledge in separate technologies and it was good for everyone to encourage each other. If you get too large though, you have too many questions and the study sessions take a lot longer than with three.
I prefer to do most of my study alone, particularly on a practice lab. It is helpful to have others in a group to come up with sample scenarios and questions to solve. You come up with a problem and give it to a partner to solve, and have them do the same for you to solve. Comparing notes afterwards gives insight as to different ways to accomplish the objective which can be useful in the lab.
I think studying in a group is better than studying alone.
If you study alone, sometimes you get limited information and can't find some mistakes.
I would recommand candidates to try to organize one's knowledge first then get in a group to complete their preparation for exam.
Hey there. I think this is a good question and depends on how you learn best. I enjoy being part of study groups and having people to bounce ideas off, etc, but I find that I get the most work done when studying alone, locked away in a room.
Don't get me wrong though, I've done a lot of studying in the past and would not have been able to pass some of the exams I have without the wisdom and encouragement of others. When working on paper exams, being locked away until the information is drilled in is ideal, but when working on the CCIE lab, the saying goes: "if there's 3 ways to do something, you need to know all 4 for the CCIE lab" and you may only be able to think of 2...
A group is very important as they will be going through the same experience as you, both technically and socially. This is very important when it come to the high end exams that require you not speaking to "normal!" people for long periods of time.
I agree with the points explained. Study in groups its important to share information, to solve doults and for motivation. But study alone is also important to focuses on the understand deeply the subjects and details.
I think a combination approach is best for me. I need time to work with the topics, to try to wrap my mind around them on my own, as this is the best way for me to learn. However, there are other times where you hit a wall and group study can expedite the process if you have the right kind of folks working with you.
So far my studies have been solitary.