Characterizing the performance of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods for the in-ditch detection and characterization of stress corrosion cracking (SCC) and other damage types has proven challenging for several reasons. Firstly, the availability of pipeline samples with real damage is limited. Compounding this issue, real samples often need to be destructively evaluated to establish the true damage characteristics such that the performance of the NDE methods can be properly understood. Destructive testing is both costly and results in the loss of valuable test samples. Secondly, the actual application of NDE methods to real samples has been shown to have significant human performance variations, which are difficult to separate from technology performance. To address these challenges, this work reviews advanced ultrasonic NDE modeling tools that have been developed to assist in benchmark studies for characterizing crack-like defects, such as SCC, and for establishing best practices. Specifically, explicit/dynamic finite element modeling techniques are utilized to model and compare traditional phasedarray ultrasonic testing (PAUT) and the newer full-matrix capture (FMC) PAUT techniques, such as the total focusing method (TFM). Insights into performance levels of the different modeled approaches are reviewed and guidance on the optimal application of these approaches is discussed.