I think most of the students who wants to sit for GATE 2013 would have started their preparation. With notification of GATE 2013 you must have become more sincere towards preparation. When I was doing my engineering from NIT Raipur I had observed that many of my friends studied any subjects in groups and many liked self study. I could not figure out which mode of study is best as students from both mode scored good and bad in semester examination. They also followed same method during GATE preparation.
In nutshell I want to tell everybody is that some of the us feel comfortable studying in group, some of us like self study. So this is all subjective matter. One should stick to the mode of study whatever he likes. As most of the students initiate their GATE preparation with commencement of sixth semester, I think by that time everyone has identified best way to study.
I would also like to tell you when one can think of switching the party ( mode). If any one is not able to understand the basic concept while studying in group (or self) he/ she should try by her/himself (or in group). There are few topics which, in my view should be studied in group like Transistor Logic families, Micro processor, Multi vibrators , few topics from EMF. Some topics like Transistor characteristics I liked to study myself. It is also possible that someone thinks exactly opposite. As I have already told you that this is very subjective matter.
I am very sorry if I have confused anyone but you should also consult with others and do prepare yourself for GATE, the way you like.