Well, I'm probably late but you can prepare for the exam at home. All that's needed is reading "New Insights into IELTS" book to get an idea of questions plus strategies to solve them, and follow Simon's lessons (an ex-IELTS examiner). Pay particular attention to his task 1 and 2 essays, there's a pattern recognize that. Then keep practising past papers from the official Cambridge IELTS books (each book has four exams). You'll get free material from British Council to practice further when you register for the exam online. This is what I did and got an overall 8. If you've already taken the exam, hope it went well and you got the score you needed.I am thinking of appearing for IELTS exam. I want to ask that should I just prepare at home or should I join an academy. Most people are recommending me Pacans and Bets. Please tell me which is better?