On iPad, when keyboard is shown, you can use the two-finger drag gesture anywhere, on the virtual keyboard or the text field, to quickly move the cursor to the text position you want.

The two-finger drag gesture toggles the screen to trackpad mode. Trackpad mode is like the trackpad on a desktop computer: moving a finger on the iPad screen can move the text cursor everywhere.

Then, to select text, tap and hold with two-fingers until the selection tip appears on text, then drag the select the text.