This is a multiple choice game. It has a web page where you enter a question, which can have multiple answers along with multiple options.

Can anyone recommend any improvements for my code?

//correct & options are both arrays. These arrays are being passed through an AJAX call
function addQuestion($topicID, $difficulty, $isMultiple, $quest,$correct, $options){
    global $numRecords,$dbConnection,$stmt;

    //Insert into question table & recieve the question ID for use in the answers insert stmt
     $sql = "INSERT INTO question (topic_ID,difficulty,isMultiple, question)
            $qID = $dbConnection->lastInsertId();

        $stmt = "";

        for($i = 0; $i < sizeof($correct); $i++):
            $stmt .= "INSERT INTO answer (question_ID, data, isCorrect)

        for($z = 0; $z < sizeof($options); $z++):
            $stmt .= "INSERT INTO answer (question_ID, data, isCorrect)
        $dd = $dbConnection->query($stmt);


    }catch (Exception $e){
        //Rollback if fails
        return "Error rolling back: ". $e;

2 Answers 2


Apart from the SQL injection, I think your code could do with some legibility improvements, as well as using some key features of php (like shorthand if/else and the foreach loop) to make your code simpler. I am going to assume that $dbConnection will contain a PDO connection that you can use for prepared and safe statements. I have added some comments, and I might be of on what types you expect your arguments to have, but in essence I think this reads much more clearly. You could (and probably should) also add a short line that describes what the parameter is for, so another developer in the future will understand at a glance.

// Add a question with answers to the database
function addQuestion(
      $topicID,    // Int
      $difficulty, // Int
      $isMultiple, // Bool
      $quest,      // String   
      $correct,    // [String]
      $options     // [String]
    // I will assume that $dbConnection is already a PDO object
    global $dbConnection;

    try {
        // Spaces and line breaks make your code easier to read.
        $query = $dbConnection -> prepare('
            INSERT INTO question  
            (topic_ID, difficulty, isMultiple, question)
            VALUES (?, ?, ?, ?)
        $query = $query -> execute($topicID, $difficulty, $isMultiple, $quest);

        // GET Id of Question just Inserted, or 0 if it failed
        $id    = $query ? $dbConnection -> lastInsertId() : 0;

        // Correction: I do understand why it used die. Its the try/catch thingy... Dumb of me!
        if(!$id) die('Error: ' . $dbConnection -> errorInfo());

        // Prepared statements also allow for 
        // repeated use with different values. This is our single setup.
        $query = $dbConnection->prepare('
            INSERT INTO answer
            (question_ID, data, isCorrect)
            VALUES (?, ?, ?)

        // Now we can execute all with different values, 
        // while reusing the prepared statement.
        // Also, a foreach loop is much more useful
        foreach($correct as $answer)
            $query -> execute($id, $answer, 1);
        foreach($options as $answer)
            $query -> execute($id, $answer, 0);

    } catch (Exception $e){
        // Rollback if fails
        $dbConnection -> rollback();
        return $dbConnection -> rollback()
            ? 'An error occured - rollback was successfull (' . $e . ')';
            : 'An error occured - rollback failed (' . $e . ')';
    // It might be good to return something anyhow on success.
    // I use false so you can do if(!addQuestion(...)){ /* do something */ }
    // but it makes more sense to return true. But since a string evaluates
    // to true, it might be easier to use if it returns false
    return false;

Another note: your table names are not exactly feeling right with me. I would have gone for Questions and Answers - both capitalised to indicate that they are a table, and not a column. They are also in plural as they contain multiple questions and answers. Descriptiveness is good in this case, as once you have a lot of tables it is good to have them named very specifically.


Your code is vulnerable to . For example, if $quest contains a ' character, your INSERT will break.


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