I would say read the manual as well. I didnt bother with an MOT.
Before my IVA I printed the IVA manual out and got a friend to go through and have a look at the manual and my car, ticking things off or commenting on them as he went.
By the end of we made a list of about 20 or so things that might need looking at again.I then tried my best to implment the suggestions.
Getting another set of eyes looking over your work, is a good method, as they will see something slight different to you.
It still took the car 2 re-tests to get through.