Apologies if I am asking something that is well known, but I am not a native English speaker, and I could not find an answer so far.
In my native language, there exists a (derogatory) word for pupils, who strive to get high grades by literally memorizing tons of facts, instead of understanding and learning. The main characteristic of such people is that at first (in first few years of school) they get excellent grades, as the quantity of material is not beyond ability to memorize (but still they do not understand most of it). As they progress through the school, this gets more and more difficult, and becomes impossible in high school or at the university at the latest, causing such people to spend many hours trying to memorize impossible amounts of data, only to be outdone by their peers who can understand the subject.
The word is derogatory in a sense that such pupils are usually hated by their peers since they are teachers' pets (at first), increasing the bar for others, who do understand the subjects, but are not prepared to invest hours and hours of their time to memorize useless facts. The downfall of such pupil is often welcomed by peers.
So, what is the word for such pupil? "nerd" and "geek" are not appropriate, since they are not derogatory in the desired sense -- nerds and geeks display above-average understanding of subjects, even if it is narrowly focused.
Example "John is such XXXXXX, he does not understand a word of what teacher is saying, he just repeats phrases from textbook and gets good grades. Shame!"
Word XXXX is not vulgar or obscene, but it is derogatory. So, I am searching for an English expression describing such person/pupil. Thanks.
Edit: I don't think that is a duplicate, since I explained the rationale in more detail. I am searching for word with negative connotation, related to learning. The person may not be stupid or lazy, perhaps they don't know better than rote learning.
So far the best candidates are: parrot (to parrot) and regurgitator (to regurgitate). Both come very close to what I had in mind.