The faculty should provide you with all the information you need to know regarding the qualifier, including encouragement to begin studying during your free time of your first year. Here's what the graduate students who have gone before you think you should also know.
Duke students have compiled a binder of qualifier solutions that are accessible to all classes to view and add to. These solutions are not official and may not be correct, yet they intend to be a useful tool in preparation for the qualifier.
The department makes PDF's of old qualifiers available on the web: www.phy.duke.edu/graduate/prelim.php . These do not include solutions. Members of the 2002 class compiled solutions to many of these qualifier questions. These solutions were compiled in a pair of binders and placed in Room 249. You may find them helpful as you study for the qual.
A few comments from the originators of these solutions: First, there is no guarantee that ANYTHING is correct! Believe what you read at your own risk. Second, don't be selfish. Keep the binders somewhere everyone can access them; xerox solutions if you want, but don't take the binders. Third, be generous! If the solutions are helpful to you, you have your peers to thank. Make the incoming class grateful to you by adding your own solutions to the binders. Some of the questions have yet to be answered and it's a GOOD thing to have multiple solutions available for every problem. Grow the resource!