Low ACT Essay But High Composite

I have a 36 composite, but only an 8/12 on the essay. I’m wondering whether I should retake it since I know there’s a 99.99% chance that I won’t get a 36 again, but would it be better if I got a 34/35 composite and a 10/12 on the essay?

The top schools I’m looking at are UChicago, Harvard, MIT, and UPenn with a major in either aerospace engineering, mathematics and economics (or statistics), or finance.

Don’t retake it. Your essay score is fine.

My son just left his pitiful 24 on the essay portion and decided he was happy enough with his 35 composite and didn’t want to bother with it again and that they colleges could tell from his actual essay and his grades/teacher recommendations that he was a decent writer. He is also applying to ME and Aerospace Engineering programs (only MIT from your list, but a bunch of other ones that aren’t on that list). We’ll see how it all works out over the next few months! All applications for early and regular rounds are in and now begins the big wait!

Don’t retake. Your essay score is ok.