Captain Vikram Batra was born into a family of educators; his mother was a teacher and his father was the head of a government school. Throughout his time in school, Batra participated actively in sports, particularly table tennis and karate, where he held a green belt.
Batra studied Bsc Medical Sciences while attending the DAV college in Chandigarh. He joined the National Cadet Corps when he was attending the DAV college as a cadet (NCC). During the interstate NCC Camp, he was selected as the top NCC Air Wing cadet from the Punjab Directorate, North Zone. At his NCC unit, Batra quickly worked his way up to Senior Under Officer, and in 1994, he marched in the Republic Day Parade. He told his parents he was going to the army at that point.
Batra was also given the opportunity to join the merchant navy by a shipping corporation with its headquarters in Hong Kong. Batra, however, turned down the offer and enrolled in an MA English course at Panjab University in order to study for the CDS exam.