The ScjpFaq has some useful information to get started with. You can always get back to JavaRanch for your queries during the preparation. For beginners- I would recommend to spend some time understanding the OO Concepts, understanding the Java syntax and also writing few programs in Java.
I would say for most people, if you're new to programming in general, most study guides would be too much to start with. New programmers should probably start with learning the basics of programming before jumping into a study guide.
If you are an experienced programmer (especially an OO programmer), but new to Java, you can probably jump right into a study guide, but it won't be easy.
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Joined: Jan 05, 2011