We assess the performance of different protocols for simulating excited-state x-ray absorption spectra. We consider three different protocols based on equation-of-motion coupled-cluster singles and doubles, two of them combined with the maximum overlap method. The three protocols differ in the choice of a reference configuration used to compute target states. Maximum-overlap-method time-dependent density functional theory is also considered. The performance of the different approaches is illustrated using uracil, thymine, and acetylacetone as benchmark systems. The results provide guidance for selecting an electronic structure method for modeling time-resolved x-ray absorption spectroscopy.