Although Wikipedia strives to ultimately improve all articles to meet professional standards, many do not yet do so. This page will teach you what you need to know as a reader to determine the quality level of an article.
0.1% of articles are designated as featured articles. These pages have passed a rigorous community review that has affirmed them to meet a set of criteria for professional standards of writing, presentation, and sourcing. On non-mobile versions of the website, featured articles will have a small bronze star icon () on the top right corner of the page. Additionally, 0.6% of articles are designated as good articles, which have been thoroughly reviewed by an independent editor and affirmed to meet a slightly less restrictive set of criteria. On non-mobile versions of the website, good articles will have a small green plus icon () on the top right corner of the page.
Some good and featured articles were given their designation long ago and no longer meet present standards. To see the date when the article was promoted, go to its talk page and look for a banner with the article history. If the last formal assessment[a] was more than a few years ago, it is likely still a fairly high quality article, but may not be comparable to more recently promoted articles. As of 2021[update], work to reevaluate old good and featured articles is ongoing.
Almost all articles on Wikipedia are given a quality rating. However, beyond good and featured articles, these ratings are not subject to community review, highly subjective, and not kept well up-to-date, so they should be taken with a grain of salt. To find an article's rating, go to its talk page and look for the WikiProject banners.
Very short articles are usually designated as stubs, and slightly longer articles as start-class. As an article improves, it can rise to C-class, then B-class, then good article status, and finally featured article status.
As Wikipedia is a work in progress, it makes no guarantee of validity. Even a featured article that has recently appeared on the main page may contain vandalism. If you need to rely on a piece of information, the only way to do so with confidence is to check the cited source and confirm that it both matches what is in the article and is reliable. Also, if you find an article that is lacking, you can always help improve it.