I've been asked how/when scores are released. I'll attempt to explain it.
Each quarter is a testing window. Each window you are able to take the test during Month 1 and Month 2. Scores are released twice per window. If you take the exam in Month 1 through the 1st week of Month 2 you have a good chance at being in the Wave 1 score release. Wave 1 score release usually happens between the 16th-25th of Month 2. Everything after the 1st week of Month 2 (and everything not released in Wave 1) gets released towards the end of Month 3 (again, typically the 16th-25th). This is not an exact science, but it is what I've seen and what others I've heard of have experienced.
Even if you take the exam in the time frame that would be in Wave 1 it is possible to be in Wave 2. If you get any of the non-graded pre-test simulations I understand you are automatically moved to Wave 2. There is no way to know if you get these pre-test simulations though.
On the actual score releases each wave: There is a two-step release process. The AICPA releases the scores to NASBA & the State Boards. The next day usually NASBA releases the scores to the students. A few states do not use NASBA to release scores to the students. For those states the State Board releases them. Those states do it however they want. In my case, Texas does not use NASBA but rather releases scores on their own website. This usually happens a day or two after the NASBA release. Other states come out as fast as NASBA while others only send scores by mail. Basically, pray you are in a NASBA state or a state that has their stuff together. Each section of the exam is released separately. The goal is typically for them to release a section per day for 4 days. That doesn't always happen, but it is the general idea. The end result is the AICPA starts the release process and everyone is glued to their computers for 4-7 days checking to see if their scores have been updated on a website.
Jeff over at another71.com has put together a good video explaining the above and has more information. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhniViOfPr4