“公” is short for “公务员” (gōngwùyuán; civil servants), and “考” is short for “考试” (kǎoshì; exams). Therefore, the term refers to the “civil service exams,” a kind of exams organized by various levels of governments to recruit new members. As the positions for government departments in China are considered secure, moderately demanding with limited overtime and fairly well-paid, many college graduates are willing to take civil service exams, which is the first step in qualifying for such positions.
Nǐ érzi míngnián yào bìyè le ba？Dǎsuàn jìxù shēnzào háishì zhǎogōngzuò？
Your son will graduate from college next year, right? Is he going to further his studies or find a job?
Tā zài zhǔnbèi gōngkǎo，xiǎng zhǎo ge gōngwùyuán de gōngzuò。
He’s preparing for the civil service exams, hoping to find a job with the government.