It is important to know how to identify what a reference word refers to. Some questions in the exam are likely to test this ability.
If the meaning of ‘likely’ in this passage is ‘possible’, then what the difference between them?
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You can't replace the adjective 'likely' with 'possible' in your sentence:
'It is important to know how to identify what a reference word refers to. Some questions in the exam are likely to test this ability'.
You would have to say '...some questions in the exam may test this ability.' This is because 'possible' is not a verb.
'Likely' has a greater chance of occurring than 'possible' (or 'may').
In fact 'likely' means it has about 50% chance of happening, whereas 'possible' or 'may' gives no indication of probability at all.