Let us list and bust a few of the myths regarding CAT attempts and percentiles
1. Number of attempts and percentiles have a strong correlation
This is of course true. But the correlation is extremely overstated. Every year, there are lots and lots of students who attempt 65% of the total questions and end up with less than 85th percentile. The far deeper correlation is likely to be between accuracy and percentile. The number of attempts is merely the most visible metric and therefore the most discussed. Unfortunately, quite a few students chase magic attempts numbers and end up shooting themselves in the foot. Come results date, we will hear a lot of students cribbing that the scoring, normalization, etc were incorrect.
In CAT 2013, a few of our students secured more than 90th percentile in a section having attempted only ~8 questions in the section. If you had read any of the forums, you would believe that guys who attempted less than 15 in a section should basically throw in the towel.
2. All students have 85% accuracy
The only thing the attempts and percentiles tell us is that there are a LOT of people who have accuracy rate of less than 50%. They get more than half the questions wrong. The CAT is a high quality exam. Pausing for thought and worrying about detail pays off in this exam. Guys who have cracked this exam will tell you that being in a frenzy never helps.
3. If you have attempted less than 65 questions in CAT 2014 you have no chance
At least half the students who are going to join IIM ABC are going to be guys who attempted less than 60 questions. The vast majority of guys who attempt 65+ questions are going to end up with less than 95th percentile. There are lots of students who appear for CAT every year, attempt lots of questions, and consistently get between 85th and 90th percentile. Its a shame that they do not change their strategy.
So, where does this leave us.
If you have attempted fewer questions but are sure about most of them. the score might surprise you to the upside.
As far as percentiles go, I would guess that they would be in the following range
Overall attempts ~ 40 - ~90th percentile
Overall attempts ~ 45 - ~94th percentile
Overall attempts ~ 50 - ~98th percentile
Overall attempts ~ 55 - ~99th percentile
Overall attempts ~ 60 - ~99.4 percentile
Overall attempts ~ 65 - ~99.7 percentile
Overall attempts ~ 70 - ~99.9 percentile
Overall attempts ~ 75 - Higher than this
1. These are at-best informed guesses. At worst, they are random numbers in a sequence.
2. All of these numbers are based on the assumption that at worst 2-3 questions are wrong. I do not understand the term "around 70% accuracy". Any paper where you believe you will have around 70% accuracy, you are basically leaving to the machinations of fate. If you think around 3 out of every 10 could be wrong, then very easily 5 out of 10 could be wrong.
Note that the density of scores is usually very low right at the top. Between 100th percentile and 99th percentile, the difference in number of attempts (correct answers) will be around 20 (perhaps even more). It is fairly crowded in the 90th-98th percentile range. With the same number of attempts, 4-5 more correct answers might determine the difference between a middling 89th percentile and sure-fire 96th percentile. This is why we ask students to take gazillion mock CATs and fine-tune everything.
Those students still waiting to take the exam, the one suggestion I would make strongly is to not get carried away by all the attempts numbers you are hearing. An enormous number of students live for the kick of saying that they attempted a lot of questions on D-day. A great proportion of this "huge number of attempts" gang end up having attempted 10 questions too many for their own good.